Last night I spent a poetic evening with people I admire, respect and delight in. Between wine, cheese and pears, we exchanged ideas, constructive criticism and stories about our lives. In the handsome space we were in, there floated, on one of the walls, and listening to everything we said, a beautiful painting of a naked woman. It called to me. It is poetry. It reflects the colors life. It is a black and white story stroked with acrylic on canvas.
The beauty of this painting is not only in the image captured, but in the play between the white and black paint. This chiaroscuro–the movement, the relationship between light and shadow–gave it depth and shape. Such is life. Such is my life.
The light aspects of life are pure love. It is in the light that we find our greatest expression of ourselves. We are holy, divine and innocent. But this light is only light in relation to the darkness, that place where we are who we rather not be. It is in the darkness that we find the shameful parts of us, where we judge others and where we project our fears, our guilt and insecurities on to others. The light is only beautiful in relation to the dark. The dark becomes beautiful in relation to the light.
It is in the shadow created between the light and the dark that we become whole. It is in the blend of the two that we become authentic for it is here that we admit our imperfections and our greatness. It is in the gray that we learn to forgive because we understand our collective humanity and frailty. It is here that we learn a healthy expression of everything that we are–our illuminated traits as well as those traits within us that bother us about ourselves.
In the chiaroscuro of our hearts is the splendor, the grace and the majesty of life. It is in the chiaroscuro where life becomes deep and takes shape, a beautiful and honest shape.
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